Sitting on the back porch this morning, watching Thomas G. Glavine. Not the famous pitcher for the Braves and some other nameless team, but the yellow-striped cat named in his honor. The G. doesn’t really stand for anything – that’s just something we tossed in there for good measure.
Glavine is a world-class mouser and extraordinary bird hunter. He’s almost 11 years old and may have lost a step or two, but don’t tell the birds that. A dove was sitting on top of the 10-foot fence this morning, and Glavine went to work. His tail started swirling back and forth. He waited and watched for the perfect moment. Then he made an epic, heroic leap off the patio table and landed eye-to-eye with the bird, tail still swirling.
Well, the dove flew off and lived to see another day, and the cat went on the prowl for other prospects. And the Lord and I had a little talk about what I had just witnessed.
See, before his feet made the leap to the top of the fence, his heart was leaping at the sight of the bird. For a good two minutes, he stood frozen there, tail swirling back and forth, richly enjoying the potential of that moment.
The cat years calendar (yes, there really is one online) suggests that Glavine has reached retirement age – he’d be a 65-year-old man in human terms. But his heart still leaps at the sight of a bird. And where the heart leaps, the feet are sure to follow.
Leaping and Weeping Hearts
This really isn’t about cats and birds.
It’s about hearts.
I was visiting with someone not long ago who was thinking about a potential career change. He had mentioned several possibilities he had seen. Out of the blue I asked him, “Has any of those things really made your heart leap with excitement or joy?”
“No,” he said matter-of-factly.
I suggested that he not make the leap with his life until he had made the leap with his heart.
There is a flip side to that. The same hearts that are sensitive to leaping will also be sensitive to weeping. The words of Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, still ring true: “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
Sometimes people take action because their hearts are leaping. But sometimes they are moved to action because their hearts are weeping. The rich histories of many causes were born out of a broken heart for a broken world.
Discipline vs. Devotion
I guess I should get nosy now and ask… When was the last time you felt your heart leaping or weeping?
Left to our own devices, life has a way of wearing down sensitive hearts. We have jobs to perform, bills to pay, promises to keep, duties to perform. Life is a discipline and somebody has to be the grownup.
Truth be told, I’m sitting here writing this today because it’s Monday and I want to write three days a week. I have a lot to do and writing today is a discipline.
But let’s be clear: God is often found in the disciplines. Ways, truths, and lives are often on the other end of faithfully putting one foot in front of the other.
But if discipline is all you have… if One Foot in Front of the Other is your only way, truth, and life… then you’re just like the Ephesians, to whom Jesus said they had lost their first love.
We forget that when we get too busy doing good things. Important things. Busy things. We’re too busy keeping and reaping and sweeping to have any more time for leaping. And that, friend, leads to crispy, burned-out hearts.
The counsel from Jesus is clear: Remember where you came from, turn your heart around, and do the things that made your heart come alive in the first place. And that centers around three things: what you believe, what you hope for in the future, and who or what you love.
If a street-smart geriatric cat can still believe that birds exist for him, can hope for just one more capture, and genuinely loves the prowl, what does that suggest for you and me – people for whom the God of heaven has invested the resurrection of His Son?
It’s time to believe again.
It’s time to dream again.
It’s time to find your first love again.
It’s time to look at the valley of your crispy, tired heart and cry out, “Dry bones, live!”
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